June News 2014


Hello all and welcome to winter. I don’t know what the other branches have experienced, but in Sydney, winter didn’t start until around a week ago. We were still having balmy 24 degree days and it was fabulous. A bit chillier now and I expect that winter has finally arrived.

Fantastic football weather! Go the Swans – sorry Tony, Dave et al. I have to write the newsletter – my prerogative.

The tipping is still going well and by all accounts there are a whole lot of people jockeying for front position.

The NRL leader is still out in front by one point and the AFL leader is now out in front by five. I think last month’s threats must have scared the next person off. Mind you there are now about 5 people who are five points behind the leader. As to the Last Man/Woman standing – we are down to two contestants. Mark Atkin and Fleur Black………not sure how happy Tony is about this!


We can sympathise with the Melbourne branch this month as we have been a little short staffed. We have had a couple of guys off sick and one retirement, but I’ll get to that later. June sees us with a large amount of air conditioners to move and they appear to be going all over the place.

Nowra, Tamworth, Canberra and on the local front, to Miranda. We have to get a couple of new drivers in to gear. We have had a ring-in named Terry, a friend of the bosses helping us out for a few weeks and we are trialling a new guy today named Dale. Fingers crossed he likes us!

With Peter and Steve both away Richard and Jose have been having some very early starts working the reefers.

On a couple of occasions lately we have even had to put Jim and the Boss out in a truck! Not sure about Jim, but I think the boss secretly enjoys getting out and about.

So the end of the financial year is upon us – very scary. Next thing we will be looking at is Christmas stock.


The guys in Hobart have had Shaun missing for part of the month. I am sure that they are glad to see him back on deck this week. He is on light duties at the moment so has been doing deliveries in the ute and has also been working on the fork lift in the yard.

There is also a new casual in Hobart, his name is Peter and he seems to be fitting in quite well.

Apparently Hobart has been like Sydney, they have had a mild start to the winter with the weather not turning cool until just recently.

I am not sure what Emma’s definition of cold is – she is telling me it’s not cold, but that there is snow on the mountain and that she needs her ugg boots at work!

The vehicle check sheet system seems to be going quite well and a thank you to Emma for taking on the task. I am sure that chasing down the branches every week for the reports isn’t too much fun!

Pom is about to go off on holidays, so the yard will be quiet for a couple of days. Sorry Pom.


Both Tony and Waddy reckon that there is no news from Launceston this month. I think that they must have slept through June. Might have to call them Ken 1 and Ken 2.

The yard has been resurfaced and their new amenities are almost complete. This will give the guys a revamped lunchroom. Hopefully this will make things a little easier for them all.

Dale is about to go on four weeks holidays and the boys in Launceston all reckon that Mark Atkin came back from his holiday in Sydney with thousands of dollars worth of CD’s.

The weather is getting cold in Launceston now and the boys are dealing with temperatures ranging between -2 as a low and 8 degrees as a high. Think I will stay away for a few months.

We had an unfortunate incident a couple of weeks ago. The yard was broken into and there was some malicious damage done to vehicles. A big thank you goes out to Mark Atkin, Mark Tatnell and Tony Black for spending their Saturday cleaning up the mess and helping repair the damage.


So, no news from Ken – but both Waddy and I have visited this month, so between us we should be able to give you a bit of a rundown.

The poor old concrete in Melbourne had broken up badly and was in need of some TLC, so we are having the yard resurfaced which is a major job. It will take the concreters two goes to accomplish and allow work to continue in the yard.

Unfortunately this will make working a little difficult in the short term, but the long term benefits will make a huge difference to the working environment in the yard.

We have a new trainee in the yard and her name is Erin. Welcome Erin, hope they are looking after you and that you are getting the hang of things.

We have also done a little swapping and the guys have a new forklift in the yard. Sometimes I think John just swaps the gear around to keep them all guessing.

I bought Jenny a new shelf for the office and I hope that she likes it. It is a lovely red and goes quite nicely with the blue and grey walls.

I am sure that Ken was glad to see the back end of us both and just to make his day we have sent Waddy back there this week. Poor Waddy he has been stuck there in the worst weather Melbourne has had in years. Gale force winds, flooding and untold damage has been the order of the day this week. Let’s hope that things settle down before he flies home!


As you all know each moth we usually profile one of our employee’s – this is how we all get to know each other. This month, I have to change the format a little as we have had our first long term employee retire this week.

We profiled Steve in our very first newsletter. Unfortunately, due to ill health, Steve has made the decision to retire – even though his plan was to work until he was 70! Not sure we could have put up with him for that long.

Steve started with us in October 1987 – I always know when as it was about the time our daughter was born. He started off driving an old Bedford and then graduated to an Isuzu. Steve was doing local pick-ups for freight to Tasmania, plus some underbond work. Back in those days, Allalong also ran underbond cargo between Sydney and Brisbane and Sydney and Canberra.

For a bit of variety, Steve stepped up in to the White 4000 and spent many hours running scrap bins from Simsmetal to Darling Harbour or White Bay, the original old Sydney wharves. This was ‘doing the scrap boat’ and it was always a competition to see who earned the most money. You were paid by the tonne and there are many legendary stories of how many tonne were hauled per trip.

Steve always jumped between semi’s and tray trucks and for probably around 15 years was our driver who covered the North Shore each Thursday. We only pick up in this area once a week and none of the drivers like this run. Steve made it his own and in the days before mobile phones we always knew where he stopped for coffee so we could phone and leave instructions for him.

Later in his time with us, Steve moved into the yard, packing boxes and driving the forklift. I’m not sure how much he enjoyed this as three years ago he was more than happy to move back into driving a semi.

Steve has spent the last three years of his working life driving an S-Line and being one of three regular drivers to look after the refrigerated work that we do three days a week.

We would like to thank Steve for his loyalty over the last 26 ½ years. He has been a hard working and diligent employee. We will all miss the chats, the family updates and the visuals – when Steve got out his wallet we always  knew we were about to see the latest collection of photos – his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


I will be brief this month and just take a moment to thank Steve for all his loyalty and hard work over the years he has been with us.

As a small business we value the loyalty of our employees and enjoy the fact that many of them remain with us for a number of years. We even have a few who leave and then return.

I would like to think that this speaks well of as a business, but always remember, you don’t have to love the people that you work with, just have respect for them.

Co-operation will always get the job done faster and in a more efficient manner than butting heads!


The boss, Dave Griffiths, Michael Taylor and Tom Sherriff – Tom, hope you enjoyed your 21st!

Happy birthday guys!